When you approach a DUI checkpoint, even if you know that you are not “under the influence” of alcohol or a drug, it can still cause unease. If you have been drinking, however, it can certainly be a situation for panic as you see your freedoms washed away.
Before you hit the road, you should know your rights and how to assert them at a DUI checkpoint. Regardless of the reason for being stopped by a police officer for possible DUI, whether at a checkpoint or elsewhere, your rights remain in place.
Your right against unlawful search and seizure
Your vehicle cannot be searched without the officer having reasonable cause or your consent. Probable cause, however, can include the following:
- Open containers of alcohol or drugs in plain sight
- The smell of alcohol or drugs
- Typical expressions of alcohol intoxication, such as slurred speech
- Typical signs of drug intoxication, such as red and blood-shot eyes
Your right to a lawful DUI checkpoint
In order for a checkpoint to be regarded as lawful, it will need to be conducted in a specific manner. The Ohio Highway Patrol has set forth specific guidelines, such as:
- The location must have a history of drunk driving or alcohol related incidents
- The logistics related to the checkpoint must be documented
- Residents of the area must be notified of the details of the checkpoint at least a week in advance
- The stops must be uniform and random (such as every 5th vehicle) as the flow of traffic permits
If these guidelines are not followed, it can be used in your defense if you are charged with DUI.
Your Miranda rights
In the case of an arrest, your Miranda rights will go into effect. These are the right to remain silent, and the right to appoint an attorney, among others. Make sure that you are adequately represented if you are charged with DUI at a checkpoint. At Patituce & Associates, we have what it takes to fight for your rights. Contact our Cleveland DUI lawyer today!